Sprout released their report on the current state of social media, and customer expectations have shifted in a way that may be surprising. One thing is for certain: to be successful, brands must be able to evolve along with customers. With social media usage increasing, 53% of customers surveyed said their social media usage has been higher in the last two years than in previous years, making social media one of the most popular modes of brand interaction.
Why Do Customers Follow Brands?
Knowing what customers expect out of social media interactions with your brand is crucial. The primary reason customers interact with brands has shifted from an interest in brand values and mission to an interest in staying informed about new products and services. In fact, Sprout’s survey showed that 68% of customers said that their primary reason for following a brand on social media is to stay informed on their offerings, and 46% said it was to have access to exclusive deals and promotions. What does this mean? Customers want something tangible out of their social media experience with your brand.
Know What Your Customers Expect to See
Getting the initial follow can happen for many different reasons, and now you know what makes customers stay, but do you know how to keep them engaged once they hit the follow button? Some of the content that customers don’t see enough of includes:
- Authentic, non-promotional content
- Transparency about business practices and values
- Information about how products are sourced or made
- Educational content related to the brand’s industry
- User-generated content and customer testimonials
Knowing what customers want out of their social media interactions with your brand allows you to “read the room” and know when to sell and when to step back. You can no longer get away with only promoting discounts and offers or new products and services; instead, you must be personable and authentic. How can this be done? Well, Sprout’s study found that of the most memorable brands on social media, 51% respond to customers, and 38% prioritize original content over trending topics. With this in mind, 37% of successful brands prioritize engaging directly with their audience instead of publishing large amounts of content. It’s all about finding the right balance between interacting with your audience organically and publishing original content.
How to Stay Ahead of Changing Expectations
Staying ahead of customer expectations on social media can feel like a frantic rush to stay “cool,” but that does not have to be the case. Social media used to just be another brand touchpoint, but now it is a crucial part of the customer experience for many, especially with the rise in social media storefronts and direct-purchase options. Approach your social media strategy with an open mind, highlighting what makes your brand different without coming across as bragging or too showy. Instead of looking at every interaction as an opportunity to sell, look at it as an opportunity to build a customer relationship. Give your customers something tangible to look forward to or enjoy instead of simply putting pictures and words on a screen for them to scroll past. Millennium Agency is well versed in creating social media strategies that leave an impact and excite. Connect with our experts today
Are you getting tired of reading about everyone’s “big wins” and “brags?” I am.
Social media has become a vehicle for businesses to promote themselves and their wins. While it’s important to communicate your business’ wins, it’s also important to remember that constant deals, discounts, and relentless self-promotion on social media are becoming less sexy and more stale. Customers are craving something more substantial from the brands they follow. While wins, promos, and special offers certainly deserve a place in your marketing strategy, the oversaturation of these tactics is leaving customers longing for a deeper connection with the brands they support.
We both know your customer is discerning. They know your brand and what you generally offer, but what they really want is to be able to relate to your brand and align more purposefully with your values, mission, and purpose. They want transparency about how your products are made and sourced or how your services are delivered, and they’re eager for real stories and use-case scenarios that showcase the tangible benefits to them. In essence, they’re seeking authenticity in an increasingly artificial digital landscape.
Are you providing that? If not, rethink your strategy. To truly engage and connect with your customers, you must pivot your social media strategies towards meaningful storytelling, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and a focus on the values and mission that they support. Only then will they forge the authentic relationships with your brand that lead to long-term customer loyalty and advocacy.
About Millennium Agency
Millennium Agency is a nationally recognized, top woman led B2B branding, positioning, and digital marketing firm who creates value that builds emotionally impactful brands that influences your customer’s buying decision, giving you the competitive advantage. As your industry partner for B2B pharma/biotech, technology and manufacturing, our proprietary research-based framework makes a strong impact and accelerates your brand growth. While you focus on what you do best – running your business successfully – our team will build your brand, and drive leads. For more information, call 877-873-7445 or schedule time here.